Board of Trustees
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Abiodun Alao is Professor of African Studies at King’s College London. He teaches on the ALC M.Sc. programmes and supervises Masters/PhD students. He is also the Chair of the Centre’s Examination Board and the Acting Chair of the Exam Board for the School of Global Affairs.
Abiodun holds a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in International Relations from the Universities of Ibadan and Ife respectively. He holds a Doctorate in War Studies from King’s College London where he was a Ford Foundation Doctoral Scholar and also held the SSRC-MacArthur Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Apart from extensive publications on African security issues, he has undertaken numerous assignments for international organisations, including the United Nations, African Union, European Union, World Bank, ECOWAS and for individual countries.
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Comfort Lamptey currently serves as Senior Gender Adviser to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), where she serves as principal adviser on gender issues to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. She also spearheads efforts on the part of UNMIL to provide technical support to the Government of Liberia on gender-related issues and priorities. Before joining UNMIL in 2011, Ms. Lamptey served as a Gender Advisor to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) from 2004 when this position was first established. In this capacity, she spearheaded the development of a Policy on Gender and Peacekeeping, the design of various guidelines and tools, and provided substantive oversight to the work of gender components in DPKO-led missions.
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Professor ’Funmi Olonisakin is Professor of Security, Leadership & Development at King’s College London. She is also founding Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), which aims to build the next generation of African scholars and analysts generating cutting edge knowledge for conflict, security and development in Africa. She is currently Programme Director of the ALC King’s College London MSc programmes on Security, Leadership and Society and MSc Leadership and Development as well as the Postgraduate Research Programme on Leadership Studies with Reference to Security and Development.
Olonisakin is a Research Associate with the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa, where she was appointed in 2013 as a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Scholar on Peace and Conflict. The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) also appointed her as a Distinguished Fellow in April 2014. She served as Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Group at King’s College London from 2003 until 2013. Prior to this, she worked in the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict overseeing the Africa work of that Office. In this role, she facilitated the establishment of the National Commission for War Affected Children in Sierra Leone and the Child Protection Unit in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). She previously held research positions in the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College London, where she co-directed the African Security Unit; and at the Institute for Strategic Studies in the University of Pretoria, South Africa and the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos Nigeria.
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Gladwell Otieno, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the African Leadership Centre, is the founder and Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG), an anti-corruption civil society organisation based in Kenya. AfriCOG also convenes the influential network, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice, that advocates for and monitors progress on the implementation of the 2008 post–election crisis agreement. Ms. Otieno was the Executive Director of Transparency International –Kenya, and has also worked for Transparency International in Berlin, Germany. At the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, Ms. Otieno led the African Security Analysis Programme.
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Medhane Tadesse is a Visiting Professor at the African Leadership Centre, Kings College London. He is an academic specialist on peace and security issues in Africa who has researched extensively on civil wars, the Governance of Security, Political Islam and interstate conflicts. A veteran political analyst in the Horn of Africa he has written widely and on a variety of issues and assumed high profile advisory position, at a young age, on one of the most complicated and intractable conflicts in Africa, Somalia. He was, among others, advisor to the President of Somaliland and the Ethiopian Foreign Minister in the mid-1990s. He is also a columnist and frequent commentator on global and regional security issues, and is the editor of The Current Analyst, an online journal that examines issues of peace and security in Africa.
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Mohamud Jama is Professor of Environmental & Development Economics. He is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies at The University of Nairobi.
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Zeedah Meierhofer-Mangeli is the Executive Director of the Meeting Place and Resource Center for Women in Zurich and former Director of Akina Mama wa Afrika (London and Uganda). Trained in the fields of sociology, pedagogy, and conflict resolution, she has been an educator and a specialist on women’s human rights and race relations. She served as Co-Director of the Zurich Women’s Shelter for Abused Women and Children; and led the youth awareness and civics training for Focus World, Switzerland. In her work, she has also been involved in concept development and training for the Swiss Police on domestic violence.